So often in the media we hear general terms that describe a more complex entity. Many food and supplement companies have been using the term "probiotic" to market the health benefits of products such as yogurt, keifer, wellness drinks and now childrens snacks. Great but what is a probiotic?
It is this halo effect that I find confusing as I try to understand how to harness the power of bacteria to benefit my own health. I try to narrow down the ingredient to a single thing to look for on a food label but find that it is not a single thing. Probiotics are a classification of living, viable microorganisms that impact the gut flora and as a result provide health benefits. This makes me wonder what type I need and how much I should have, how much are in different products and what else can we eat that will provide the beneficial affect to our bodies?
Well to answer my questions I visited www.usprobiotics.org for answers to my clinical questions and much more. Another thing you can do is look for the National Yogurt Associations seal. The NYA Seal is available to qualified producers of live and active culture refrigerated and frozen yogurt for use on product labels and in advertising and promotional materials.
I would encourage all those who work in nutrition or any area of medicine for that matter to become engaged in this conversation. A preventative approach to health is an underlying theme of nutrition and this topic certainly lends itself to that catagory.